Metro announces more frequent subway trains and Blue Line service at night

Mayor Villaraigosa and a replica of Lady Gaga at the event this morning announcing more evening rail service. Photo by Juan Ocampo/Metro.

Los Angeles Mayor and Metro Board Chair Antonio Villaraigosa just finished announcing the news at a news event at the Music Center: Beginning this Sunday, Nov. 13, Metro will run trains every 10 minutes between 6 p.m. and midnight on the Red and Purple line subway, as well as the Blue Line between downtown L.A. and Long Beach.

It’s a demonstration project that aims to boost ridership and better serve entertainment, cultural and sporting venues in addition to restaurants, hotels and stores. The service will also be accompanied by more discounts available to those who use Metro to get where they’re going.

“L.A. doesn’t roll up its sidewalks at sundown,” said Mayor Villaraigosa, who also noted that this is part of a bigger program to expand transit throughout the region — whether it’s building new lines or taking better advantage of existing transit.

“Our downtown is booming — it’s no longer a nine-to-five downtown,” said Carol Schatz, President and CEO of the Central City Assn., which represents downtown businesses. “Metro’s slogan is ‘more trains, more often.’ Our slogan is ‘party hardy and take the train.'”

Mayor Villaraigosa announces the news along with representatives of the downtown, Hollywood and Long Beach sports and cultural scene. Photo by Juan Ocampo/Metro.

The project is starting with Metro’s busiest rail lines at night. The subway currently carries an estimated 18,568 boardings between 7 p.m. and midnight with the Blue Line carrying 9,379 between those times. The agency will see how the new service performs and may make similar changes to other lines next spring.

Among the representatives of the night-life scene on hand for the announcement Monday were cheerleaders for the L.A. Kings and L.A. Clippers — both teams play a short walk from the Blue Line — as well as officials from the L.A. Opera, Hollywood and the Long Beach Aquarium.

I know some Source readers will ask: why not post-midnight service? The answer from Metro officials: they wanted to first determine if there are ridership gains to be had from more frequent service during the regular night hours. If the program goes well, late night service may still be added.

In the meantime, patrons on the Gold, Green and Orange Line busway should see quicker trips if they’re transferring to the subway or Blue Line at night. The extra service should also benefit workers who won’t have to wait as long for trains and will likely see more people on those trains, leading to a safer atmosphere.

Here’s a good news story by Eric Richardson of blogdowntown that fills in some other details.

39 replies

  1. I also think that extended Th, F, Sat hours until 3am would yield more usage than increased evening frequency. I sent Metro an email arguing this point, along with the drunk driving argument, about a year ago. Their reply simply said there wasn’t money for it.


  2. See, this would be brilliant, EXCEPT for the late night service – until Metro runs late night (aka, post bar) service, people who are out for a full night on the town won’t use it. Therefore, ridership won’t increase, and therefore, Metro will say there’s no demand. I really wish they would run the service first for 6 months, assure people they could use it, and THEN look at post 1 AM ridership.


  3. The last Red Line train is currently just about 1AM. Even if the last Red Line train was a mere 40 minutes later – 1:40 AM – only three days out of the week – a mere two more trains – it would be enormously helpful in getting drunks off the road, and cars out of the the Hollywood parking lot.

    Tokyo’s trains stop at midnight. The BART stops around then, too – if I remember right. But a taxi is much more of a viable alternative in those cities.


  4. I think this is a good idea and it is long overdue. The only problem that I see is that service on the green line will not change for some time. When I transfer from the blue line to the green line at the Rosa Parks station. It seems you have to wait forever for a green line train to arrive. In the mean time, you stand on the platform in the heat or cold and have to listen to the traffic on the freeway.


  5. Wish I had known this while waiting almost 20 minutes, twice, tonight. :) Though I say yay, YAY, the post-midnight test logic is faulty. Riders who don’t ride because of the infrequent service aren’t necessarily motivated by the same needs as the post-midnighters.


  6. Zjunk is exactly right! I’ve been dumbfounded as to why they would double train service when they already run every 20 minutes, yet no late night or 24 hour service, at the very least on the red line, and at the very least on the weekends. People won’t use these “more frequent trains” because there’s no way to get home from the bars. I wrote an email to Villaraigosa yesterday expressing this. If anyone has actually gona as far as to read this article, I encourage you to do the same. Taking the metro early as a one-way trip to the bar, then a cab ride home is out of the question – when a one way cab ride is $40. Everyone I know would rather opt to drink and drive. If they are serious about making our roads safer, they would give us late night service. It almost seems like they actually WANT DUI drivers out there so the city can collect the revenue. Why else would they spend the money to double half empty train service before midnight, instead of giving us the train service we need to be able to actually use it to go out and party. In this article is says their slogan is ‘party hardy and take the train.’ – what BS and what train??


  7. I think I speak for everyone when I say that some kind of response from either Metro (or the Source) on this subject would be greatly appreciated.


  8. “Everyone I know would rather opt to drink and drive.”

    You know a lot of losers who would drink and drive.

    It’s like you’re holding Metro hostage. Add late night trains or the drunks will kill everybody on the road! Whatever happened to personal responsibility? Metro is responsible for drunk drivers now?